Why the Flynn Interview Was Predicated

  
Via:  thomas  •  2 weeks ago  •  75 comments

By:   Barbara McQuade (Lawfare)

Why the Flynn Interview Was Predicated
The Justice Department's motion to dismiss the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is flawed in many ways, but one of its weakest arguments is that the investigation of Flynn was not properly "predicated."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



By Barbara McQuade Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 12:20 PM

Michael_Flynn_%2830020745053%29.jpg

Michael Flynn attends a campaign rally for Donald Trump in Phoenix, Arizona. 

The Justice Department's motion to dismiss the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is flawed in many ways, but one of its weakest arguments is that the investigation of Flynn was not properly "predicated." This argument not only lacks merit—it also opens the door to the same frivolous argument from future defendants in other criminal cases. And it creates a dangerous incentive that could dissuade the FBI from fulfilling its duty to fully investigate criminal and national security threats.

Predication is a requirement under the Attorney General's Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations, the FBI's internal guidelines for conducting investigations. To begin an investigation, the bureau must have a predicate—essentially, a factual basis to believe that a crime or national security threat exists. The level of predication required varies with the category of investigation, which ranges from assessments (the least involved level of probe) to preliminary investigations to full investigations. Predication is required to prevent the targeting of subjects for political or other improper reasons, an important reform after abuses of investigative powers in the 1960s and 1970s, but the bar is low. Even the highest level of cases, full investigations, requires as predication only "an articulable factual basis for the investigation that reasonably indicates" a threat to the national security.

Depending on the category under which a case is opened, the guidelines permit investigative techniques with varying degrees of invasiveness. For example, electronic surveillance may be used in a full investigation but not in an assessment or preliminary investigation. Importantly, all three categories permit FBI agents to interview a subject.

Attached as an exhibit to the Justice Department's motion to dismiss is the FBI's opening documentation for the investigation into Flynn—a subfile of the umbrella investigation into Russian election interference, known as Crossfire Hurricane. When large investigations are opened, subfiles are often opened on individual targets for purposes of administrative efficiency and division of labor. Dated August 2016, the FBI documentation stated that there was an articulable factual basis that Flynn "may wittingly or unwittingly be involved in activity on behalf of the Russian Federation which may constitute a federal crime or threat to the national security." The file noted further that "Flynn was an advisor to the Trump campaign, had various ties to state-affiliated entities of Russia, and traveled to Russia in December 2015."

According to the Justice Department inspector general, the Flynn investigation was properly predicated as a full investigation. In his report on the FBI's conduct in the Russia investigation, the inspector general stated, "[T]he quantum of information articulated by the FBI to open these individual investigations [that is, the investigations into Flynn as well as Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and Paul Manafort] was sufficient to satisfy the low threshold established by Department and FBI predication policy, particularly in the context of the FBI's separate and ongoing investigative efforts to address Russian interference in 2016 U.S. elections."

Key to the Justice Department's argument in its motion to dismiss is the fact that, after four months of investigation without finding any derogatory information, the FBI was prepared to close its case on Flynn. A draft internal FBI document dated Jan. 4, 2017, shows that the bureau had sketched out a memo closing the probe, though the document includes the usual caveat that if new information were identified, the FBI would consider reopening the investigation.

But before the case was actually closed, the FBI learned that Flynn had spoken to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in late December 2016. According to the Justice Department's motion, the FBI had transcripts of the relevant calls, likely obtained through surveillance of Kislyak authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. By this time, Flynn had been named as Trump's national security adviser.

In those calls, Flynn had asked Russia not to retaliate for sanctions imposed by the Obama administration as punishment for election interference. Flynn had also asked Russia to vote against a United Nations resolution regarding Israeli settlements. On their face, these calls potentially undermined the foreign policy of the United States. What's more, on Jan. 15, 2017, Mike Pence, then the vice president-elect, made public statements that contradicted the transcripts of Flynn's calls— a fact that, as documented in the Mueller report, "alarmed senior DOJ [Department of Justice] officials. " And so, the FBI decided to keep the investigation open. FBI agents interviewed Flynn on Jan. 24, four days after Trump took office. During that interview, Flynn falsely denied his statements regarding sanctions and the U.N. vote. He later pleaded guilty to one count of false statements for telling these lies.

The Justice Department now insists that the Kislyak call did not establish adequate predication for the FBI to conduct this interview. But there was no need for new predication for the interview—because predication had already been established. The case was still open after having been properly predicated, as found by the inspector general. Conducting an interview would have been a perfectly appropriate investigative step even if the FBI had not come across any new information. Interviews are frequently conducted at the end of a case to fill in gaps in evidence, explain events, assess a potential threat or satisfy agents that they have not missed any important facts. In the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails, for example, Clinton's FBI interview was the last step in the investigation before it was closed—and then reopened months later.

But even if new predication were somehow required, the content of Flynn's calls, along with his apparent lies to Pence, provided a sufficient factual basis for further inquiry. The Justice Department motion argues that predication was lacking because the only potential crime at issue was the Logan Act, forbidding private citizens to negotiate with foreign governments—which has rarely been invoked, and which the Justice Department acknowledged at the time of the Flynn investigation would be difficult to prosecute. But this focus on the Logan Act completely ignores the counterintelligence purpose of the investigation, which was to determine whether Flynn posed a national security threat. By lying to Pence about facts known to Russia, Flynn had compromised himself as national security adviser. Flynn, who had access to the nation's most sensitive secrets, was now susceptible to blackmail by a hostile foreign adversary. Surely this constitutes "an articulable factual basis for the investigation that reasonably indicates" a threat to the national security.

Even if one were to accept the Justice Department's absurd arguments that fresh predication was needed and that this new information was insufficient for a full investigation, the Kislyak call certainly would have been enough for a preliminary investigation—which may be predicated on the basis of the lower standard of "information or an allegation indicating the existence" of a threat to the national security.

Or, at the very least, this new information justified an assessment, which requires no predication at all. An assessment requires only an "authorized purpose" to "obtain information about, or prevent or protect against" threats to the national security. According to the Attorney General's Guidelines, assessments are appropriate when techniques such as interviews "can avoid the need to proceed to more formal levels of investigative activity, if the results of an assessment indicate that further investigation is not warranted." Under any of these standards, an interview was appropriate.

In the short term, the Justice Department has harmed not only its own reputation for integrity through filing the motion to dismiss but also public confidence that the law applies equally to everyone, including the president's friends. It is telling that prosecutor Brandon Van Grack, who worked on the case for more than two years, withdrew on the day the motion was filed and that no career prosecutor signed the filing.

But what about the long-term consequences? When I worked at the Department of Justice as a national security prosecutor, there was a phrase we often used to describe the dangers of inaction: "He who does nothing does nothing wrong." The phrase suggests shirking one's duty for fear of making a mistake, exactly the wrong instinct when national security is on the line. Justice Department and FBI employees who have watched the drama of the Flynn case unfold may feel a chilling effect from watching the department not only unwind a case but also attack the reputations of public servants who made difficult decisions under unprecedented circumstances. As national security threats arrive in the future, there is a risk that the incentive is no longer to take swift action but, instead, to do nothing wrong.


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Thomas
1  seeder  Thomas    2 weeks ago

Wow. Finally, an article from someone who sounds like they actually know what they are talking about.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
1.1  Freedom Warrior  replied to  Thomas @1    2 weeks ago

You can't be serious.

 
 
 
Thomas
1.1.1  seeder  Thomas  replied to  Freedom Warrior @1.1    2 weeks ago

I am totally serious. 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.1.2  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Freedom Warrior @1.1    2 weeks ago

You can't be serious.

that's why the letters spelling out T h o m a s are located adjacent to his avatar , cause, 

he can't be serious  ,   whence forth you actually didn't say you were serious, he stated he was Thomas, but f u r serious, how can EWE B serious...?

Possibly Delerious, but , only slackey lackey smack me asinine wons who got lost, could ever call you 'serious', cause SERIOUSLY, You can't B, or knot 2 bee, cause that isn't the question, the question would BE, what in the seed are you capable of understanding, cause there is not enough time, to explain all the things you possibly do not.

.

Article lays out succinctly , what transpired, and that it was totally legal and done CORRECTLY, and just because one needs to live up to the subterranean Barr they have dug, does not mean that all have to misinterpret the Law and directional flow of the Wrong Weigh Trump attempts to tip the scales of Justice, like a cow, that was drugged, cause the Bullshiter in Chief, is just enough to make US say WoW, but spell it backwards and down on the upside, cause i read it through the lys Dexic rear view mirror, where eye place you   MoM

Far Behind

and beyond the realm of the isolated chamber maid for ewe and the other flockerz, is the Real World, Empty V style NOT,

so stick this in your slot, and make change into a dollar.

or at least,

it will make YOU,  holler 

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

Actually, he stated himself that he is Totally Serious.

Looks like you were wrong again.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.1.4  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.3    2 weeks ago

if you want, i can make you wronger, in all the write ways of a course i'll teach you in fine stereotypical ways to catch mono

log jambed into a door ill show you just past the peep whole wheat bred, to understand what i 

said before i said it againz in a different way than understood by your friends 

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.1.4    2 weeks ago
said before i said it againz in a different way than understood by your friends 

That is probably because all of my friends consider word definitions and spelling to be important.

You don't get to change what he wrote himself about it to fit your personal agenda.

I am totally serious. 
 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.1.6  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.5    2 weeks ago

Hey

Tex Mex, I Can

i wrote it last Knight, and did not send it till this mourning, so let me spain sumtin to You, i can make ANY REALITY REAL,

if Trumppy CAN pp, i can CC how idid that.

it is ONLY my perception that accounts for your miss perception that u propsed to me, well i don't, accept your proposal, as i don't fly that way into your ointment, even if you made it an appointment, cause i'll appoint and cement it to you, as your at fault like asphault hot and black, ya shurin you wish to continue your a 

tacky, sticky substance, like your ointment gettin stuck in your fly

in to the face you wish to

face it, it tain't gonna work out too swell, till the swellin goes down, like that $ 5 hooker in China town, you tried to bring down to the corner of the encircled block, to catch my trane of thought ?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.7  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.1.6    2 weeks ago

Want to try that mess again--in English this time?

I keep on telling you that I don't do gibberish!

 
 
 
Dulay
2  Dulay    2 weeks ago

Way above the heads of many here. All that legalese and law stuff. Their speed is "Merica" and 'Fake News'. 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
2.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Dulay @2    2 weeks ago

very strongly and bigly stated is this article, so by the bumbling bigot bistro's interpretations, it will be labeled fake news, hoax skews, N Deep State for shallow thinkin kool aid drinkin Blews, asz shit for brains not, thinkin bout the M TV Real world they think they live in, asz Trumps the Producer, asz he produces A HOLE LOT(s)

AS in so much Bovine Excremeant for them, that they are ALL FULL OF IT !

.

but, i'm sure they will explain it to us all

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @2.1    2 weeks ago
but, i'm sure they will explain it to us all

No, it would be a futile attempt to enlighten.

Why waste our time?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3  Sean Treacy    2 weeks ago

You should probbaly use an honest source and not rely on partisan hacks with a track record of always being wrong. .  Lawfare embarrassed itself throughout the Russia hoax by providing fake facts and analysis (It's FISA articles are particularly hilarious in retrospect). There little cannon they would tweet when they hyperventilated about some new "evidence" that would get Trump  is a running joke. 

No one is arguing the original  investigation didn't have a legal predicate.  Of course, after months of investigation the case was closed because no evidence existed that Flynn was  a risk to national security.  And, of course, no evidence was ever  discovered that he was.   Instead  FBI higher ups   used an innocous conversation as a basis to go around established protocal to get an interview with him under false pretenses with the express purpose of interfering in the Executive's branch personell decisions.(as the notes FBI make clear).

This is really a sloppy article. This statment "Flynn had asked Russia not to retaliate for sanctions imposed by the Obama administration as punishment for election interference" is a blatent falsehood.  

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    2 weeks ago

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/lawfare-blog/

leastbiased021.png?resize=600%2C67&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/mediabiasfactcheck.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/leastbiased021.png?resize=300%2C34&ssl=1 300w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px" > LEAST BIASED

These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes).  The reporting is factual and usually sourced.  These are the most credible media sources.  See all Least Biased Sources.

  • Overall, we rate Lawfare Blog Least Biased based on evidence based balanced reporting. We also rate them Very High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and for being used as a resource for verified fact checkers.

Detailed Report

Factual Reporting:   VERY HIGH
Country:   USA
World Press Freedom Rank:   USA 48/180

History

Founded in 2010, Lawfare is a blog dedicated to publishing information related to legal issues and policy related to national security. According to their   about page   “We mean to devote this blog to that nebulous zone in which actions taken or contemplated to protect the nation interact with the nation’s laws and legal institutions.”

Lawfare’s coverage of intelligence and legal matters related to the Trump administration has brought the blog   significant increases   in readership and national attention.

Lastly, the founder and Editor-in-Chief is Ben Wittes. They are also transparent by offering a   masthead .

Funded by / Ownership

Lawfare is published in cooperation with the   Brookings Institution   and derives funding from donations.

Analysis / Bias

In review, the website publishes articles from a legal perspective related to national security issues. Articles typically feature minimal to moderate loaded language such as this:   The Potential Trouble with Nominating a DNI from Trump’s Central Casting . This story is properly sourced to the President’s daily briefs and the   Washington Post . In fact, all articles reviewed are properly sourced to credible media outlets such as   Reuters ,   Associated Press , Justice.gov and the   New York Times.  

Although Lawfare is known for their straight factual reporting, they also produce editorial content that frequently discusses   President Trump’s legal issues   and policy that may not be constitutional. This reporting is always evidence based. In general, Lawfare is factual and utilizes minimal personal bias and does not takes sides. They clearly report on the law and how it impacts national security.

A   factual search   reveals they have not failed a fact check. In fact, they are used as a resource for IFCN fact checkers.

Overall, we rate Lawfare Blog Least Biased based on evidence based balanced reporting. We also rate them Very High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and for being used as a resource for verified fact checkers. (5/14/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 7/30/2019)

Source:  https://www.lawfareblog.com/

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3.1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1    2 weeks ago

imagine thinking mfbc is an authority.

 
 
 
Dulay
3.1.2  Dulay  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1.1    2 weeks ago
imagine thinking mfbc is an authority.

Imagine trying to pretend that MFBC isn't specifically cited in NT's CoC as exactly that. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1.1    2 weeks ago

Yes, we really should just take your word for it, given your history of nonpartisanship.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
3.1.4  igknorantzrulz  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.3    2 weeks ago

i take his word for it, 

and , make it dirty

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3.1.5  Sean Treacy  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.3    2 weeks ago

given your history of nonpartisanship.

You should probably pay attention to my history of being correct on these issues.  FISA gate, the whole Collusion debacle, including the Steele dossire, etc.. have played out like I said they would while posters relying on the hystrical yammerings of left wing sites like Lawfare have been proven wrong, again and again. Do you not remember the last few years on this site?  All those collusion crimes that never panned out? How the FBI would never, ever submit unverified information tp  and withhold relevant from  a FISA court? Good times!

I'm one of those people who stop trusting sites after their anaylsis is proven wrong, and often dishonest. But that's not a problem for some.   

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.6  sandy-2021492  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1.5    2 weeks ago
All those collusion crimes that never panned out?

Weren't committed?  Or didn't result in a conviction by the Senate?  The two are not the same, Sean.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3.1.7  Sean Treacy  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.6    2 weeks ago
ren't committed?  Or didn't result in a conviction by the Senate?

Try not alleged.

Read the Mueller report. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.8  sandy-2021492  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1.7    2 weeks ago

The one in which Mueller said that if he could have exonerated Trump, he would have?  That report?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3.1.9  Sean Treacy  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.8    2 weeks ago

Please don't conflate topics. I'm talking about the Mueller report on the supposed collusion. I'll quote to make it simple:

"the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

By all means, if you want to waste your time, please read the Mueller report and point out where Mueller found evidence of a conspiracy between any member of the Trump campaign and Russia.  Just please don't move the goalposts again. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.1.10  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.6    2 weeks ago
Weren't committed? 

That is correct--no collusion was committed. The Great Mueller Report said that he could find NO evidence of any American colluding with Russia.

Or didn't result in a conviction by the Senate? 

That is also a firm NO. Hell, the Democrats didn't even mention it in their little articles  of impeachment.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.11  sandy-2021492  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1.9    2 weeks ago

Ok, the Mueller report on supposed collusion.  I notice you neglect to mention the Mueller report on obstruction of justice regarding the investigation of collusion.  Intentional on your part, I'm sure.

That's still the report in which he was not exonerated, Sean.  The report found that his attempts to obstruct were foiled by his staffers.  He attempted to obstruct the investigation, repeatedly.  Why did he need to do that?

 
 
 
MUVA
3.1.12  MUVA  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.11    2 weeks ago

 Neither the FBI or the special prosecutor can not exonerate anyone that is done in a court of law they recommend charges be sought or not. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3.1.13  Sean Treacy  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.11    2 weeks ago

Since I was talking about collusion, I referenced the section  of the Mueller report that explains his  collusion investigation. 

But if you insist on moving the goalposts and talking about process crimes,  the DOJ is clear that even if everything Mueller alleges can be proven, no process crime occurred as Mueller admits“the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference."   

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.14  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.10    2 weeks ago
That is correct--no collusion was committed. The Great Mueller Report said that he could find NO evidence of any American colluding with Russia.

From the Mueller report:

In sum, the investigation established multiple links between Trump Campaign officials and individuals tied to the Russian government.  Those links included Russian offers of assistance to the Campaign.  In some instances, the Campaign was receptive to the offer, while in other instances the Campaign officials shied away.  Ultimately the investigation did not establish that the Campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities.

So, the Trump campaign was willing to collude, but Mueller's investigation, which encountered witnesses who refused to testify or lied under oath, and deleted communications, was unable to establish proof of conspiracy.  I wonder if that investigation actually arrived at the truth, or if you're just willing to accept as truth that Trump and company wanted to conspire with Russia, and had the opportunity to conspire with Russia, but for some reason didn't.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.15  sandy-2021492  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1.13    2 weeks ago
In sum, the investigation established multiple links between Trump Campaign officials and individuals tied to the Russian government.  Those links included Russian offers of assistance to the Campaign.  In some instances, the Campaign was receptive to the offer,
 
 
 
Texan1211
3.1.16  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.14    2 weeks ago

Well, after hearing so much so often about the Mueller Report, why would you assume he did a shitty job?

Most Democrats seemed to think the Mueller Report was going to be their golden ticket to impeachment AND removal. They banked on the wrong horse. Thus, they were forced into impeaching a President KNOWING full and well that they were NEVER going to remove him from office and that it was really nothing more than a political stunt.

Mueller came out and stated he found no evidence that any American colluded with Russia. Despite media reports to the contrary.

I will go with the man specifically hired to look for that specific thing.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.17  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.16    2 weeks ago
why would you assume he did a shitty job?

I never said he did, although a case could be made for that.  He certainly had shitty cooperation from the subjects of his investigation, AKA obstruction.

The man specifically hired to find that specific thing found plenty of indications of it.

 
 
 
Split Personality
3.2  Split Personality  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    2 weeks ago
This is really a sloppy article. This statment "Flynn had asked Russia not to retaliate for sanctions imposed by the Obama administration as punishment for election interference" is a blatent falsehood.  

Prove it. I assume you can produce the NSA tapes.

Otherwise this statement is the weakest argument ever.

You should probbaly use an honest source and not rely on partisan hacks with a track record of always being wrong.
 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3.2.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Split Personality @3.2    2 weeks ago

Just read the statement of the offense posted below. It’s in plain English for you 

 
 
 
Split Personality
3.2.2  Split Personality  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.2.1    2 weeks ago

When is the transfer of power from one Administration to the next?

Or do you seriously think we have two Presidents from November 8 to January 20?

How many single events did Flynn admit to, have bundled as a sweet plea deal for the once influential General,

and plead guilty to TWICE in front of the same Judge?

It should be a done deal, long ago.

Sentence the man.

Let him admit his guilt a third time when he accepts the presidential pardon.

 
 
 
Thomas
4  seeder  Thomas    2 weeks ago
This statment "Flynn had asked Russia not to retaliate for sanctions imposed by the Obama administration as punishment for election interference" is a blatent falsehood. 

How do you know?

From the Statement of The Offense...

....

a. On or about December 28, 2016, then-President Barack Obama signed
Executive Order 13757, which was to take effect the following day. The
executive order announced sanctions against Russia in response to that
government's actions intended to interfere with the 2016 presidential
election ("U.S. Sanctions").

b. On or about December 28, 2016, the Russian Ambassador contacted
FLYNN.

c. On or about December 29, 2016, FLYNN called a senior official of the
Presidential Transition Team ("PTT official"), who was with other senior
·members of the Presidential Transition Team at the Mar-a-Lago resort in
Palm Beach, Florida, to discuss what, if anything, to communicate to the
Russian Ambassador about the U.S. Sanctions. On that call, FLYNN and the PTT official discussed the U.S. Sanctions, including the potential
impact of those sanctions on the incoming administration's foreign policy
goals. The PIT official and FLYNN also discussed that the members of
the Presidential Transition Team at Mar-a-Lago did not want Russia to
escalate the situation.

d. Immediately after his phone call with the PTT official, FLYNN called the
Russian Ambassador and requested that Russia not escalate the situation
and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner.

e. Shortly after his phone call with the Russian Ambassador, FLYNN spoke
with the PTT official to report on the substance of his call with the
Russian Ambassador, including their discussion of the U.S. Sanctions. ....
 
 
 
Sean Treacy
4.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Thomas @4    2 weeks ago

You posted it. Read it again.  Not retaliate is very different than don’t escalate and ask for a reciprocal response

 
 
 
Thomas
4.1.1  seeder  Thomas  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1    2 weeks ago

You are splitting hairs. Retaliation is an action taken in response to a perceived slight. From the same SOF:

g. On or about December 31, 2016, the Russian Ambassador called FLYNN
and informed him that Russia had chosen not to retaliate in response to
FLYNN's request. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
4.1.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  Thomas @4.1.1    2 weeks ago
ou are splitting hairs.

I'm sorry, I was told this was such a reputable legal source that it would be over our poor little heads. And, yet, this op-ed, filled with "legalese" can't even get the basic facts of what Flynn allegedly did correct. "retaliation" and "escalation" are two distinct concepts with different meanings. Yet, this supposed expert, can't even manage to report facts correctly, yet we are told their analysis Tthat is  premised on mistaken facts is somehow reputable.

 
 
 
Thomas
4.1.3  seeder  Thomas  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.2    2 weeks ago
I'm sorry, I was told this was such a reputable legal source that it would be over our poor little heads.

Not by me. I chose this article because of clarity and its fit with my understanding of the facts at hand. I make no claims as to the authority of the author. Take that up with her. 

And I know the difference between the two words:

Retaliate "   to return like for like, especially   :   to get revenge"  

Escalate : to increase in extent , volume, number, amount, intensity, or scope

I still think it is splitting hairs. If that is all that you can come up with for an argument against the article, then I will accept your criticism of the one supposed error and tell you that the rest of the article stands for all intents and purposes. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
5  Split Personality    2 weeks ago

Spell check is a free feature of NT.

We should all use it.

jrSmiley_72_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Thomas
5.1  seeder  Thomas  replied to  Split Personality @5    2 weeks ago

Fat phin gers lead to a lot of red lines

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
5.2  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Split Personality @5    2 weeks ago
Spell check is a free feature of NT.

huh

 
 
 
Tacos!
6  Tacos!    2 weeks ago
In those calls, Flynn had asked Russia not to retaliate for sanctions imposed by the Obama administration as punishment for election interference. Flynn had also asked Russia to vote against a United Nations resolution regarding Israeli settlements. On their face, these calls potentially undermined the foreign policy of the United States.

No, they don't undermine anything, and the FBI knew that at the time. When it was suggested these actions might violate the Logan Act, even Mary McCord - head of the DOJ National Security Division - called that idea "a stretch." It's perfectly normal for the incoming administration to be communicating with representatives from other countries to let them know what their policies will be. 

This is why treating Flynn like a criminal was so absurd, and they all knew it. 

And one more thing:

Flynn had asked Russia not to retaliate

So what exactly is it that you wanted? Did you want Russia to retaliate? You actually wanted Russia to take action against the United States? I sure as hell hope not. And that being the case, you should be thanking Flynn for his service to this country. Again.

“Indeed, Mr. Flynn’s request that Russia avoid ‘escalating’ tensions in response to U.S. sanctions in an effort to mollify geopolitical tensions was consistent with him advocating for, not against, the interests of the United States ,” Timothy Shea, interim U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, in the motion to dismiss the Flynn case, said. 
 
 
 
Dulay
6.1  Dulay  replied to  Tacos! @6    2 weeks ago
This is why treating Flynn like a criminal was so absurd, and they all knew it. 

From the McCord link in you comment: 

“The feeling among NSD attorneys was Flynn’s behavior was a technical violation of the Logan Act, but they were not sure this would have a lot of jury appeal, or if pursuing it would be a good use of the power of the Justice Department,” according to an Aug.15, 2017, FBI report from an interview with former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

 
 
 
Tacos!
6.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  Dulay @6.1    2 weeks ago
a technical violation

Yes, in the same way that crossing an empty street at 3 a.m. is technically jaywalking. But any cop who would write someone a ticket for it would be universally condemned as a fascist douchebag abusing his authority, and one who clearly fails to see the spirit of the law instead of the technicality. 

of the Logan Act,

Yes. A piece of legislation widely assumed to be unconstitutional, which is a big reason why no one has ever tried to actually charge anyone with violating it.

 
 
 
Dulay
6.1.2  Dulay  replied to  Tacos! @6.1.1    2 weeks ago
Yes, in the same way that crossing an empty street at 3 a.m. is technically jaywalking. But any cop who would write someone a ticket for it would be universally condemned as a fascist douchebag abusing his authority, and one who clearly fails to see the spirit of the law instead of the technicality. 

Terrible analogy. 

Yes. A piece of legislation widely assumed to be unconstitutional, which is a big reason why no one has ever tried to actually charge anyone with violating it.

False. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
7  Nerm_L    2 weeks ago

An investigation into Russian election interference was predicated upon information concerning known Russian activities.  Michael Flynn was interviewed as part of that investigation to obtain information pertaining to Russian activities.  Michael Flynn was not being investigated.  At some point in the process, the interview of Michael Flynn became an investigation of Michael Flynn.  Michael Flynn was a material witness and not the subject of investigation.

The claim that Michael Flynn "may wittingly or unwittingly be involved in activity on behalf of the Russian Federation" isn't an adequate predication to open a separate criminal investigation into the activities of Michael Flynn.  And Michael Flynn hasn't been indicted and prosecuted for witting or unwitting illegal activities.  

 
 
 
Nerm_L
7.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Nerm_L @7    2 weeks ago

John Podesta provided Russian hackers access to privileged information concerning the 2016 election.  The access provided by Podesta materially benefited the Russian Federation.  Podesta "may wittingly or unwittingly be involved in activity on behalf of the Russian Federation".  

Is that adequate predication for a criminal investigation of John Podesta?

 
 
 
Thomas
7.2  seeder  Thomas  replied to  Nerm_L @7    2 weeks ago
The claim that Michael Flynn "may wittingly or unwittingly be involved in activity on behalf of the Russian Federation" isn't an adequate predication to open a separate criminal investigation into the activities of Michael Flynn.

Read that statement. Reread it until you see that you just said that a suspicion about a person is not adequate grounds to start an investigation. Presumably, then, you have to know that what has happened really happened before you can look into whether it happened or not? 

Fact: Michael Flynn lied to the FBI while knowing it was a crime and admitted to such under no compulsion. 

 
 
 
MUVA
7.2.1  MUVA  replied to  Thomas @7.2    2 weeks ago

There is no way to know he lied till we see the original 302 the FBI changed the original 302 then told Flynn he lied after believing and reporting to FBI higher ups they didn't think he lied. 

 
 
 
Dulay
7.2.2  Dulay  replied to  MUVA @7.2.1    2 weeks ago
There is no way to know he lied till we see the original 302 the FBI changed the original 302 then told Flynn he lied after believing and reporting to FBI higher ups they didn't think he lied. 

There is unequivocal evidence that Flynn lied. Flynn signed a plea agreement that states that he lied multiple times and he stated under oath that he knowingly lied to the FBI multiple times.  

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
7.2.3  igknorantzrulz  replied to  MUVA @7.2.1    2 weeks ago

well, then he openly admitted to Lying about Lying then, and might have even Lied about Lying about Lying...he might even be like Trump, and LIE, when sitting up in bed.

So why are you supposin he Lied to the FBI, cause he could of confessed about Lying about Lying , but do know , somewhere out there, the TRUTH, ain't lying !

.

.

ps: The Truth ain't Lying    next to Trump 

 
 
 
MUVA
7.2.4  MUVA  replied to  Dulay @7.2.2    2 weeks ago

No. 

 
 
 
MUVA
7.2.5  MUVA  replied to  igknorantzrulz @7.2.3    2 weeks ago

The FBI told him he lied after changing what he said by changing the 302 that was rewritten multiple times.The comments on this site convince me one can't a fair trial in the USA if some leftist democrats are on the jury they believe anything.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
7.2.6  igknorantzrulz  replied to  MUVA @7.2.5    2 weeks ago

not surprising a Trump defender doesn't have a problem with Another, LIAR, but some of US do. 

our condolences 

 
 
 
Dulay
7.2.7  Dulay  replied to  MUVA @7.2.4    2 weeks ago

Yes.

 
 
 
Dulay
7.2.8  Dulay  replied to  MUVA @7.2.5    2 weeks ago
The FBI told him he lied

Flynn stated under oath that he was guilty of lying to the FBI, that he was aware BEFORE the interview that it was illegal to lie to the FBI AND that the FBI did NOT coerce him into lying. 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
7.2.9  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Dulay @7.2.8    2 weeks ago

maybe,

Flynn was LYING about not being coerced ...? or

not Lying about BEing coerced, or

Lying about BEing not coerced into Lying about BEing coerced...

.

It doesn't matter what the ACTUAL TRUTH IS

they refuse to accept the reality of it,if it proves how wrong and stupid some might have been supporting the LIAR in CHIEF, cause if it does, they cannot support it, and will attempt ANY excuse to, rationalize it, or, spout ANOTHER DAMN LIE about it.

Unlike Trump and Flynn, i'm not LYING, while sittin up in bed, i'm Drinkin a damn BEER!

 
 
 
Nerm_L
7.2.10  Nerm_L  replied to  Thomas @7.2    2 weeks ago
Read that statement. Reread it until you see that you just said that a suspicion about a person is not adequate grounds to start an investigation. Presumably, then, you have to know that what has happened really happened before you can look into whether it happened or not?  Fact: Michael Flynn lied to the FBI while knowing it was a crime and admitted to such under no compulsion.

Lied about what?  Michael Flynn was interviewed as part of an investigation predicated on Russian activities to influence the election.  The meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak that Flynn supposedly lied about occurred after the election but before Trump was inaugurated.  The election was over at that point.

The FBI expanded their activities well beyond investigations pertinent to the election.  What was the FBI's justification for investigating the preparations of the incoming administration to make foreign policy decisions?  What was the Obama administration's justification to meddle in the incoming Trump administration's planning process?

Was the FBI asking questions about issues beyond their predication for investigating Russian activities to influence the election?  Has the FBI lied?  Has Robert Mueller lied?  

 
 
 
Ender
7.2.11  Ender  replied to  Nerm_L @7.2.10    2 weeks ago

So after an election, the investigation should just stop?

They should all the sudden stop listening to certain Russian nationals calls just because an incoming administration may talk to them?

And that incoming administration is still not in power yet.

And now you are going to ask if the FBI tried to influence the election, after the election happened.

If the agency wanted to influence the election, they could have leaked what was going on at the time, yet they didn't.

Well I take that back, maybe they did try to influence the election with their announcements about Clinton close to election time.

Guess who benefited from that.

And no matter what excuse people come up with, donald and Pence fired Flynn because they were lied to by him.

All of this is just pandering by donald to gin up support for him by using the belief that the 'deep state' is out to get him and any one that works for him.

It is all bullshit. Of course now with another IG being fired, for no reason, he is making sure there will be no oversight of what he is doing.

And a lot of donald supporters seem just fine with this.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
7.2.12  Nerm_L  replied to  Ender @7.2.11    2 weeks ago
So after an election, the investigation should just stop?

The mandate was to investigate Russian activities to influence the election.  That is not predication to investigate activities unrelated to the election.

And now you are going to ask if the FBI tried to influence the election, after the election happened.

The apparent effort was to influence the planning of the incoming administration and shape policy before the administration could take office.  That doesn't have anything to do with investigating Russian activities to influence the election.

  Well I take that back, maybe they did try to influence the election with their announcements about Clinton close to election time.

Clinton private email server wasn't just a security risk.  Clinton violated Federal procurement regulations and violated emolument restrictions.  Where was the State Dept. Inspector General?  There wasn't a permanent inspector general at the State Dept. during Clinton's tenure as Sec. of State.

And no matter what excuse people come up with, donald and Pence fired Flynn because they were lied to by him.

Trump fired Flynn for political reasons.  

It is all bullshit. Of course now with another IG being fired, for no reason, he is making sure there will be no oversight of what he is doing.

Sec. Clinton didn't have a permanent inspector general during her tenure at the State Dept.  Steve Linick was nominated as State Dept. IG after Clinton left.  Steve Linick was the IG responsible for reviewing Clinton's use of a private email server for public business.  Linick criticized Clinton for inappropriate preservation of public records.  

Linick's handling of the Clinton matter compared to handling of Pompeo's activities does appear to indicate political motivations.

 
 
 
Ender
7.2.13  Ender  replied to  Nerm_L @7.2.12    2 weeks ago

If you are talking about Mueller's mandate, he was actually given a wide berth to go where the investigation took him.

So now the new thing is they were going after donald's people to influence foreign policy on their own. This is a new one on me. I suppose you have proof of this? Or just heard it from fox news talking heads. So they were going to shape foreign policy and then donald would take the office and could shape it how he wanted anyway. What you are accusing makes zero sense.

Clinton's server was not illegal at the time, no matter what some say. I think the process and rules have changed now.

donald even has a tweet that he fired Flynn for lying. It is in his own words so there is no denying it.

Sorry but how can you call Linick political when he actually condemned what Clinton had done? What is political is firing him, for no real reason. The news is the idea came from Pompeo himself because he was being investigated and may have been thinking about a senate run.

Even Collins and Romney have come out and said there was no legal basis for it.

 
 
 
Thomas
7.2.14  seeder  Thomas  replied to  MUVA @7.2.5    2 weeks ago
The FBI told him he lied after changing what he said by changing the 302 that was rewritten multiple times.

I am sure that you won't mind referencing proof of these allegations.

 
 
 
Dulay
7.2.15  Dulay  replied to  Nerm_L @7.2.10    2 weeks ago
Michael Flynn was interviewed as part of an investigation predicated on Russian activities to influence the election. 

False. Flynn was interviewed because he lied to Pence and others and thereby opened himself up to kompromat. PERIOD, full stop. 

The meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak that Flynn supposedly lied about occurred after the election but before Trump was inaugurated.  

False again. Flynn admitted to lying about a PHONE conversation with Kislyak

The FBI expanded their activities well beyond investigations pertinent to the election.  What was the FBI's justification for investigating the preparations of the incoming administration to make foreign policy decisions? 

The FBI was surveilling the RUSSIANS. 

What was the Obama administration's justification to meddle in the incoming Trump administration's planning process?

What evidence do you have that they did? 

Was the FBI asking questions about issues beyond their predication for investigating Russian activities to influence the election? 

Go read the Horowitz report. 

Has the FBI lied? 

Are you asking about the entire agency or a particular Agent? I'm pretty sure that FBI Agents lie all the time. The SCOTUS ruled that LEOs can lie during interviews. No worries. 

Has Robert Mueller lied?  

WTF does Mueller have to do with Flynn lying in a January 2017 interview? 

 
 
 
Thomas
7.2.16  seeder  Thomas  replied to  Nerm_L @7.2.10    2 weeks ago

He lied about the details of his phone call with Kislyak. 

As the judge wrote back in December : “[T]he Court agrees with the government that there were no material changes in the interview reports, and that those reports track the interviewing FBI agents’ notes.” Sullivan went on: “Having carefully reviewed the interviewing FBI agents’ notes, the draft interview reports, the final version of the FD302, and the statements contained therein, the Court agrees with the government that those documents are ‘consistent and clear that [Mr. Flynn] made multiple false statements to the [FBI] agents about his communications with the Russian Ambassador on January 24, 2017.’”

So if you lie when your Mama catches you with your hand in the cookie jar that is somehow worse than lying when you have cookie crumbs on your chin ???  

What part of ,"I lied to the FBI before they closed the (Properly predicated) investigation," don't you get?

What was the FBI's justification for investigating the preparations of the incoming administration to make foreign policy decisions?  What was the Obama administration's justification to meddle in the incoming Trump administration's planning process?

Well, glad that you asked: ( Link )

The   second batch of documents   produced by Jensen and released on April 30   contains a draft FBI memo closing Flynn’s case (which was never finalized), along with an internal FBI email chain and what appear to be internal FBI text messages or instant messages. It appears that the FBI drafted a memo to close the case on Flynn, a memo that is dated Jan. 4, 2017, but was likely written earlier. But FBI leadership then decided to keep the case open.

The memo describes how the FBI opened a case on “CROSSFIRE RAZOR” (clearly, from the description, Flynn) “based on an articulable factual basis that CROSSFIRE RAZOR (CR) may wittingly or unwittingly be involved in activity on behalf of the Russian Federation which may constitute a federal crime or threat to the national security.” After describing investigative steps taken by the bureau, the memo states that the “CH team” (a reference to the bureau’s name for the Russia investigation, “Crossfire Hurricane”) “determined that CROSSFIRE RAZOR was no longer a viable candidate as part of the larger CROSSFIRE HURRICANE umbrella case,” and that the bureau is therefore closing the case. Notably, the memo flags that “FBI management” requested that Flynn not be interviewed.

A chain of messages included in the documents shows communications between Strzok and a redacted individual regarding the memo. On Jan. 4, Strzok messaged the other person to tell him or her not to close the case, apparently at the direction of FBI leadership. It’s not clear from the documents what caused the change in course, but another message between two redacted individuals notes a comment by Strzok suggesting that FBI leadership decided to interview Flynn after all.

The documents themselves don’t reveal the reason for the shift. But   reporting by the New York Times   provides a hint. According to the Times, the Jan. 4 decision not to close the case may have resulted from the FBI’s discovery that Flynn had spoken with Kislyak in the previous days and advised Russia against retaliating against U.S. sanctions levied by the Obama administration in response to Russian election interference—the matter about which FBI agents eventually interviewed Flynn, and about which he lied repeatedly to them. The issue was of concern to the bureau in part because it appeared that Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about those contacts as well, and the FBI became worried that Flynn’s falsehoods “posed a blackmail risk,” the Times writes. In other words, there’s a very good explanation for why the FBI made a U-turn on closing Flynn’s case: When the memo was drafted, the writer wasn’t yet aware of the most concerning conduct by Flynn.

In his recent book, “The Threat,” McCabe describes the chain of events that seems to have led to the discovery of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak—and why the bureau wasn’t aware of that information before:

Near the end of December, the administration and National Security Council prepared sanctions on Russia as punishment for their involvement in the election … The sanctions were announced on December 29.

The next day, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, issued an unusual and uncharacteristic statement, saying that he would take no action against the United States in retaliation for those sanctions. The PDB [Presidential Daily Brief] staff decided to write an intelligence assessment as to why Putin made the choice he did. They issued a request to the intelligence community: Anyone who had information on the topic was invited to offer it for consideration. In response to that request, the FBI queried our own holdings. We came across information indicating that General Mike Flynn, the president-elect’s nominee for the post of national security advisor, had held several conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, in which the sanctions were discussed. The information was something we had from December 29. I had not been aware of it. My impression was that higher-level officials within the FBI’s counterintelligence division had not been aware of it. The PDB request brought it to our attention.

...We felt we needed time to do more work to understand the context of what had been found—we don’t just run out and charge someone based on a single piece of intelligence. We use intelligence as the basis for investigation.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
7.2.17  Nerm_L  replied to  Thomas @7.2.16    2 weeks ago
So if you lie when your Mama catches you with your hand in the cookie jar that is somehow worse than lying when you have cookie crumbs on your chin ???  

Michael Flynn wasn't prosecuted for having his hand in the cookie jar.  Flynn wasn't indicted and prosecuted for illegal activities.  Neither the FBI or the Mueller investigation team alleged that Michael Flynn did anything illegal.

The quote from McCabe's book highlights the concern over policy.  The Obama administration had imposed sanctions on Russia which is a hard line foreign policy towards Russia.  The incoming Trump administration had indicated a desire to improve foreign relations with Russia.  The incoming Trump administration was indicating that the sanctions would not be continued.

The effort by the FBI, intelligence community, and subsequently the Mueller investigative team was deliberately intended to meddle in the policy planning of the incoming administration.  The Obama administration attempted to poison any attempts by the Trump administration to improve foreign relations with Russia.

The quote from Andrew McCabe's book is actually quite damning.  The intelligence assessment mentioned in that quote was prepared for Barack Obama.  The effort was directed towards involving President Obama to provide cover for bureaucratic activities that exceeded authority or predication.

 
 
 
MUVA
7.2.18  MUVA  replied to  Thomas @7.2.14    2 weeks ago

FBI have supposably lost the original 302 so how can I produce it when the FBI can't or more likely won't.

 
 
 
Thomas
7.2.19  seeder  Thomas  replied to  Nerm_L @7.2.17    2 weeks ago
Michael Flynn wasn't prosecuted for having his hand in the cookie jar. 

No shit! Really?

Flynn wasn't indicted and prosecuted for illegal activities. 

What world are you living on??? Here .

The Admitted Offense: In his dramatic and surprise guilty plea in U.S. District Court on Dec. 1, 2017, early in Mueller's investigation, Flynn acknowledged that his false statements and omissions in FBI interviews a few days after Trump was sworn in "impeded and otherwise had a material impact on the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the existence of any links or coordination between individuals associated with the campaign and Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election," which the statement of offense he agreed to said. He specifically admitted to lying about asking the Russian ambassador to refrain from responding to Obama administration sanctions against Russia for its election interference and further requested Russia help block a United Nations vote on Israeli settlements which the incoming administration didn't agree with. Flynn also agreed that he lied about his lobbying activities in federal filings related to work on behalf of the Republic of Turkey throughout the 2016 campaign.

 
 
 
Ender
7.2.20  Ender  replied to  Nerm_L @7.2.17    2 weeks ago

Sorry but what you are saying still doesn't make any sense.

If the Obama administration wanted to sabotage the incoming administration, they did a really shitty job.

From everything I have read (with the exception of right wing media), Obama tried to be very accommodating to donald. Hell he even supposedly warned donald about Flynn.

What you are accusing still does not add up.

The only thing Obama could have done is what he did. Sanction Russia.

No matter what any supposed sabotage would be, the new administration would still be able to talk to leaders and create their own path. Nothing could or can change that.

Acting like there was some concerted, orchestrated plot just to get/sabotage donald, is nothing but deep state nonsense. And like I said, no matter what a previous administration did or didn't do, the new administration can go in whatever direction they want.

Funny too that according to this so called devious plan in action, donald was too stupid to not surrender to the effort.

 
 
 
Ender
7.2.21  Ender  replied to  MUVA @7.2.18    2 weeks ago

I thought I had lost a 420. Then I looked and had a 315.

 
 
 
Dulay
7.2.22  Dulay  replied to  Nerm_L @7.2.17    2 weeks ago
Neither the FBI or the Mueller investigation team alleged that Michael Flynn did anything illegal.

Actually, the FBI KNOWS that Flynn failed to file as a foreign agent lobbying for Turkey and lied about it to Trump and the FBI. They didn't charge Flynn for that as part of his plea agreement. Guess that agreement is moot now so they should prosecute him for that now too. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
7.2.23  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dulay @7.2.22    2 weeks ago

I wonder if that now opens his son up to prosecution.

 
 
 
Dulay
7.2.24  Dulay  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.2.23    2 weeks ago

They should have prosecuted him from the get go. 

I find it disgusting that conservatives here are always so gung-ho about prosecuting people that they have NO evidence against while at the same time whining about the prosecution of people that have overwhelming evidence against them. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
8  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

They could have condensed the article down to this

But even if new predication were somehow required, the content of Flynn's calls, along with his apparent lies to Pence, provided a sufficient factual basis for further inquiry. 
 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
8.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  JohnRussell @8    2 weeks ago

they still wouldn't understand it

 
 
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